When the corn is way higher than “knee-high at the Fourth of July,”and is, in fact, “as high as an elephant’s eye” (that would be right now), it’s time to use every little bit of it without delay. The very best corn is cooked within a few hours of being picked or even sooner if you’re lucky enough to own a corn field, but if there’s an ear or two in the fridge cooked yesterday or even fresh corn that’s been refrigerated for longer than it should be (tsk, tsk), skip the corn-on-the cob side and and make my Fresh Corn and Bacon Salsa. (Of course really fresh corn is also totally acceptable!) Perfect with salty, crispy-crunchy tortilla chips, it’s even better as a black bean soup topping–or how about on chili?Continue reading
So many slow cooker recipes indicate a “dump and cook” method, but then taste like that’s exactly what you did. (I’m not eating any food from a recipe that includes the word “dump”!) We all wish this simple cooking method worked in just such a way–especially during the hot summer months. In truth, many meals need a bit of pre-sautéing or browning before that long simmer or they are, to my palate, steamed to death and all the same color–the very reason some good cooks tell me they tried a slow cooker once and gave it away soon thereafter.
Sausage+Beer Soup w/ Brussels Sprouts+White Beans – Scroll down for recipe
After nearly a month away from the blog and home
…first to see our daughter Emily in Pennsylvania..
…and then to cruise via some stormy, leftover hurricane seas with my sister Helen from our favorite foreign spot, Quebec City, to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida… …
In January it’s so nice
While slippin’ on the slidin’ ice
To sip hot chicken soup with rice
Sippin’ once, sippin’ twice
Sippin’ chicken soup with rice..
Lyrics (original text) by Maurice Sendak. Music by Carole King, Really Rosie. (Click here to listen.) First published in the book Chicken Soup with Rice, part of the Nutshell Library. Continue reading
Note: an Instant Pot version of this soup was posted in April of 2018. The printable recipe on this post includes instructions for both the stove top and Instant Pot versions.
It is a joy and at times a true puzzle to figure out how to use up leftovers, but a good cook lets nothing go to waste. Or, as Winston Churchill said,
Never let a good crisis go to waste.
And it is at times a “crisis’ in the fridge: 2 boiled eggs, two pieces of bacon, a quart of milk nearly gone bad, a bowl of boiled potatoes, and one piece of sad stale baguette are in your direct view every time you open the door. Why isn’t there a lovely fillet of salmon, a great bottle of Chardonnay, and deeply-green spinach just out of the neighbor’s garden? Instead of a fresh fish meal, you make a quick potato soup topped with toasted breadcrumbs and then chop together a little egg salad for crackers as a side. And often you’re happier than if you’d cooked from scratch. (Aside: In Seattle, you’re fined $25 if food is found in your garbage. You must use and eat or compost.)
below: dogs all dressed up for Easter
Tuesday morning’s “crisis” (OH DEAR) was a bit of cold Asparagus Vinaigrette with Chopped Eggs I had taken to friends for an Easter Eve supper. Holiday leftover crises are somewhat worse than the traditional what’s-in-that-tupperware? problem. Well, I just heated a small plateful in a skillet and cooked two eggs on top for my breakfast:
This black eyed pea soup appeared one noon when I just wanted something real to eat…something warm and filling, but not fattening. Contrary to common opinions or the instructions on the package, black eyed peas do not have to soak, nor do they take two hours to cook. Took about an hour cooking time plus prep. Perfect for a lucky New Year’s Day when you’re too tired to cook much. Or hungover and in need of healthy, filling food. Want corn bread? I include my favorite recipe at the bottom of the post. Don’t forget to dunk.
The famous Italian dish, Tortellini en brodo, is a beautiful, well-known holiday pasta and broth soup upon which my simplified, shredded-beef American version is based. I truly didn’t have this dish in mind, I just happened to have a pot roast, a bunch of tortellini, and a desire for something besides the things I usually make with pot roast on a cold snowy day: pot roast and vegetables, beef-vegetable soup, beef-barley soup, beef burgundy, and so on.
If you’d like to make the real Tortellini en brodo, visit a blog that has the directions in English; many are in Italian! Here’s a good home-made blogger’s version (Stefan’s Gourmet Blog) that is totally from scratch, including the meat filling for the tortellini, and looks luscious. If you’d rather have a little video action and a Mario Batali recipe, here’s that link. The simplest shortcut recipe is here. In other words, you’re not cooking meat for broth, bones for stock, or making homemade pasta and filling in my soup, but you are cooking a pot roast! And while my ingredients’ list isn’t short, the method is simple and gives you time for other things.
Because while writing the recipe, I realized it sounds long and ponderous, you can read — and cook from, if you like — the basic method, or the short version:
Brown a well-seasoned pot roast with carrots, onions, garlic, celery, and fennel and cook until tender — 2 – 2 1/2 hours — in wine, tomatoes, and broth (a little more than 3 quarts liquid) with bay leaf, dried oregano, and basil. Shred the beef, chop or puree the cooked vegetables, and cook the pasta and peas in the broth while you do that. Stir it all together, add a small handful of fresh basil and garnish in bowls with parsley and Parmesan cheese.
While the beef cooks, a couple of hours, you have time to work on a project, read a good book, watch a movie, or have coffee with a friend. If you’d like to cook this in the slow cooker, I think you would have some success, though I haven’t tried it. A link for similar recipe made in a slow cooker (tortellini is added the last twenty minutes) is here. Buon appetite! Continue reading
Welcome to the new More Time at the Table on WordPress.com! This blog has been hosted by Blogger for the past four-plus years and will be published at both urls until all the kinks are worked out of the transition process. Do change your bookmarks or links, please, and follow me here on Word Press! Great thanks to my gorgeous daughter Emily (below in red sweater) who managed the migration. So cool to have smart kids!
A fast, hearty, healthy, rich, and inexpensive main course is what this soup is all about. A little pancetta to set the stage for the quickly sautéed vegetables bolstered by a heart-happy hit of garlic. A big blustery can of Italian tomatoes added to chicken stock to create instant broth. Pasta and beans to fill your tummy. A few fresh leaves of spinach and a splash each of white wine and pesto to top it all off and make it so.
Winter Minestrone & Garlic Bruschetta (click link for recipe) comes out of Ina Garten’s most recent and seventh book, BAREFOOT CONTESSA : Foolproof — Recipes You Can Trust, published in 2012 by Clarkson Potter. Quentin Bacon did the stellar photographs. That’s right; this is a coffee table book even if you plan to cook from it. You can dream with this gorgeous tome while you sip a cup of tea early in the morning. Put it on the bedside table and then discuss menus with your partner over a glass of white wine at 11 p.m. Or drag it along to the JW Marriott in Denver’s Cherry Creek (my local escape) like I did. One of my favorite things about this book is the way the paper feels and the quintessential new-book aroma wafting upwards each time it’s opened. I am a book, a real book, fanatic. (I did make my living as a librarian, as well as a choral director. I even taught English a few years.) It’s not that I don’t read on the iPad — or even on Dave’s Kindle — I do. But I’m enamored of the senses provoked by books I can see, smell, hold, feel, touch, and even shelve. There. Continue reading